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Gorleston lifeguard hut decision looms

PUBLISHED: 09:48 12 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:38 30 June 2010

TENSIONS around the prospects for a former lifeguard hut in Gorleston are building, ahead of a decision.

With the chance for the public to make their feelings known about the proposed food and drink stall ending today, MP Tony Wright has joined forces with opponents.

TENSIONS around the prospects for a former lifeguard hut in Gorleston are building, ahead of a decision.

With the chance for the public to make their feelings known about the proposed food and drink stall ending today, MP Tony Wright has joined forces with opponents.

Ahead of a committee meeting on Tuesday to determine the fate of the hut, located feet from the beach on the Lower Esplanade, Mr Wright said that another food outlet could be“the thin end of the wedge” for the area.

He added: “As someone who has lived around here all my life, Gorleston is a special place in terms of its heritage and there's nowhere quite like it. I am in agreement with those who don't consider that a change of use for the hut is a good idea.

“The seafront can't be put in the same context as Great Yarmouth, and they already have enough facilities there - this would be a step too far.”

Mr Wright met with concerned shopkeepers and residents on February 1 at the seafront, and supports a proposal put forward to demolish the old lifeguard hut.

The idea was initially proposed by Rotarian Philip Gunn, who was involved with the recently-completed bandstand nearby, and would use traders' and public donations to extend the current seating shelter or rebuild in a similar style to the bandstand.

Tracy Kelly owns a nearby ice cream stall and also supports the alternative suggestion, but fears

there will not be a chance

for it to be considered.

She said: “Considering the public notice application only went into The Mercury on February 5 and the meeting is already coming up, we've had very little time to get anything together.

“It may have to be an option we put forward if the application is rejected, but I think this is the time for people to voice their views and turn up to this meeting.”

Mrs Kelly added that a borough council member had commented at another site meeting that the public response had been such it was even bigger than the response to wind turbine plans for the area.

The fate of the hut will be decided at a borough council development control meeting at the Town Hall at 6pm on Tuesday which is open to the public, and follows a re-application by Mr Formosa early last month which excluded the nearby seating shelter from the original plans.

A subsequent campaign against the change of use has generated more than 40 formal objections and a petition with nearly 600 signatures handed in.

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